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Video Game Demographics 2023 (U.S. & World) – A Deep Dive

Video games have evolved from a niche hobby to a dominant form of entertainment and big business enjoyed by over 3 billion people globally. Gaming is mainstream, with diverse demographics across age, gender, culture and socioeconomic status enjoying interactive experiences across platforms.

Let‘s dive deep into the key gaming demographics shaping the industry in 2023 and beyond.


The gaming industry has experienced explosive growth over the past decade. According to Newzoo, there were an estimated 3.24 billion gamers worldwide in 2021, projected to grow to 3.32 billion by 2024.

[Insert graph showing growth of global gaming population over time]

Total video game revenue surpassed $178 billion globally in 2021, an increase of over 14% from 2020 according to Newzoo. PwC projects video game revenues swelling to over $300 billion by 2027, representing a compound annual growth rate of 8.7%.

Several interlinking factors are driving growth:

  • Mobile gaming growth expands audience reach
  • Free-to-play model increases accessibility
  • Technological advances enhance immersion
  • Cloud gaming reduces barriers to entry
  • Esports viewership boosts participation

As gaming moves further into the mainstream, let‘s analyze the shifting demographics powering this growth.


Traditionally gaming has been portrayed as a male-dominated industry. But the gender divide has progressively narrowed, with female gamers representing 48% of the gaming population in the US according to ESA.

However, 15% of male gamers self-identify as "gamers" compared to just 6% of females as per YPulse. Men also tend to engage in more hardcore gaming behaviors:

  • 69% of male gamers own a console vs. 59% of females (Newzoo)
  • Male gamers are 3X more likely to make in-game purchases (Earnest)

But the gap continues to close as gaming expands beyond stereotypes. Key trends indicate growing female representation:

  • There are now more female esports fans than ever before, up to 45% in 2022 versus just 35% in 2020 (Colormatics)
  • The share of female gamers age 10-65 playing mobile games is 65% in the US (Digital Turbine)
  • Top gaming influencers like Pokimane (8M followers) draw huge female audiences

As developers understand motivations around female gameplay, they can better capitalize on this growing demographic.


Today‘s gamers span generations, laying waste to stereotypes that gaming is just for teenagers.

ESA indicates the average male gamer is 34 years old, while female gamers average 36 years old. Over half of gamers are 18 years or older:

  • 24% of gamers are under 18 years old
  • 36% are 18-35 years old (Millennials & Gen Z)
  • 26% are 35-54 years old (Gen X & Older Millennials)
  • 15% are over 55+ (Baby Boomers & up)

From a spending perspective, consumers aged 35 to 54 make up the biggest demographic buying games. However, Generation Z and Generation Alpha spend big on gaming as well:

  • 52% of Gen Alpha gamers spend a lot on games (Digital Australia Report)
  • 51% of Gen Z gamers spend heavily on games

As Millennials enter their peak spending years while retaining gaming habits, they will continue to power industry growth. Meanwhile Gen Z and Gen Alpha gamers represent the next generation of lifelong customers.

Geographic Breakdown

Asia-Pacific dominates the global gaming market with 1.5 billion gamers according to Statista. But North America and Europe represent strong footprints:

North America

  • USA: 80.9% of Americans play games (Statista)
  • USA: Highest gaming revenue globally ($50.4B in 2021) (Newzoo)
  • USA: Largest mass shooting demographic is young white males with gaming connection (FBI)
  • Canada: 71% of Canadians are gamers (Statista)


  • 50% of Europeans aged 6-64 play video games (ISFE)
  • Germany: 83.3% play games, spend 7.3 hrs/week gaming (Statista)
  • UK: 75% are gamers, spend 8.1 hrs/week gaming
  • France: 71% are gamers, spend 7.7 hrs/week gaming

Latin America

  • Brazil: 75.7% play games, spend 9.4 hrs/week gaming (Statista)
  • Mexico: 69.8% play games, spend 7.9 hrs/week gaming

As internet access improves globally, developing regions provide growth potential with massive young populations ripe for gaming.

Game Genres

The most popular game genres align to key demographic preferences:

  • Shooters attract the most male gamers across age groups
  • Sports games have broad appeal across genders and age brackets
  • Role-playing games index higher with younger Millennial and Gen Z gamers
  • Puzzle/match games overindex among female gamers
  • Simulation games attract older gamers

These align to behavioral patterns observed in the data:

% of Gamers Who Play Selected GenresGenreMaleFemale
43%Sports Games56%31%
22%Puzzle/Match 315%30%

(Source: ESA)

Understanding preferences by demographic allows developers to better target and monetize their audiences through data-driven design.

Platform Breakdown

Gamers enjoy experiences across a variety of platforms, with mobile poised for massive growth.

  • PC Gaming remains most popular with an estimated 1.3 billion PC gamers by end of 2023 (Newzoo)
  • Console Gaming maintains loyal fans, forecast to be a $51B market by 2027 (Global Newswire)
  • Mobile Gaming is fastest growing, hitting $172B by 2023 (Statista)

In the US, an estimated 2 out of 3 gamers play on their smartphones according to NPD. The accessibility of mobile devices expands the gaming demographic.

Cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming also reduce barriers to entry. With cloud gaming, games are streamed rather than locally processed, allowing access across less powerful devices.

As technology advances, the gaming platform ecosystem will continue fragmenting – ultimately expanding the total addressable market.

Competitive Gaming & Esports

Esports has transitioned gaming into a spectator sport, further growing the gaming demographic.

Newzoo found 532 million people tuned into esports globally in 2022. Audience growth has been massive:

[insert chart showing growth in esports audience size]

Additional esports demographic trends:

  • Audience is 72% male, leaning heavily Millennial & Gen Z (Gaming Street)
  • Total esports industry revenue was $1.38B in 2021 (Statista)
  • 15.5% of US internet users will watch esports in 2023 (Euro News)

The excitement around competitive gaming engages new demographics that may not play as actively but enjoy the spectator experience.

Top Gaming Markets in United States

Though the US gaming market is united by growth, some geographic regions overindex:


  • Fastest growing US gaming market with projected 8.5% CAGR through 2026 (Quantum Tech)
  • Florida ranked #3 state for game developer employment (ESA)

Los Angeles

  • Over 90 gaming studios in metro area, employing 9,600 people (Los Angeles Business Journal)
  • University programs feeding talent – USC Games, UCLA Games Lab

New York

  • 212 game companies & developer studios (Built in NYC)
  • Home to 2K Games (NBA 2K) and Take-Two Interactive (Grand Theft Auto V)



  • companies EXAMPLES
    -icrosoft, Valve, Bungie


  • Austin, Houston and Dallas all major hubs
  • Home to Gearbox Software (Borderlands)

The industry employs developers, streamers, competitive gamers, support services and more – creating economic growth across these regions.

Impacts on Industry

Evolving gaming demographics change how companies build and market games. For example, preferences by gender, age and culture influence:

  • Game themes & mechanics: Should we design for short play sessions or hardcore immersion? Include exercise features for older gamers? Craft narratives for different cultural values?
  • Monetization models: Do we sell one-time purchases, in-game items, subscriptions, season passes or feature ads? What will our players pay for?
  • Marketing: Do we target mainstream TV networks? Esports sponsorships? Influencer campaigns on TikTok? OOH billboards? Our channels impact reach.
  • Developer hiring: Building diverse, cross-functional teams allows us to build for diverse players.
  • Accessibility options: Supporting disabilities allows more people to enjoy games. Options like text-to-speech, hearing aids and adaptive controllers open the audience.

More diverse players demand more perspectives integrated into the gaming experience.

Future of Gaming Demographics

Omdia forecasts the gaming audience swelling to 4.8 billion by 2030. This represents tremendous growth – but where will these new gamers come from?

  • Women already represent nearly half of gamers. Continued work by developers to support diverse themes and playstyles will close any remaining gender gap.
  • Mobile-first gamers in emerging markets will drive reach as smartphones proliferate. GeckoGame predicts 87% of Southeast Asians will be mobile gamers by 2025.
  • Cloud & VR will unlock gaming for casual and first-time gamers once barriers to entry lower. 5G networks and AR/VR headsets will open new doors.
  • New demographics like seniors and families will be drawn to gaming for connectivity, health benefits and accessibility improvements.

Gaming is on track for mainstream ubiquity – but companies must continue nurturing diverse content and inclusive communities to get there.


Gaming has evolved from a niche to a dominant form of entertainment enjoyed by over 3 billion people worldwide in 2023. Drivers like mobile gaming expansion have made interactive experiences more accessible across demographics.

Key trends show increasing gender parity, with women approaching half of gamers. Generations young and old partake, though ages 35-54 spend the most. Developing markets, improved technology and competitive gaming growth open new doors.

Our analysis shows developers must continue nurturing diverse experiences as gaming penetrates further globally.

The full picture shows gaming appeals across cultures, interests and locations worldwide. Still viewed as male-centric by some, the data proves games provide interactive enjoyment across genders, ages and geographies.

Gaming belongs to everyone – all 3 billion and counting.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.